ARTHUR Villanueva didn’t look as sharp as he used to be in his last fight, occasionally missing his mark and settling for a close split decision with Victor Mendez.

Expect a more technically sound Villanueva this time around against Mexican Juan Jimenez in front of a hometown crowd this Saturday night in the main supporting bout of Pinoy Pride 36 - “A Legend in the Making” at the University of St. La Salle Coliseum in Bacolod City.

“It depends on what the opponent shows us on the actual fight. If they have adjustments then we also have adjustments. Yes, Arthur’s counter-punching style will be back, but if there is an opening he will go for the finish,” ALA Gym head coach Edito Villamor told Sun.Star Cebu.

Villanueva and Jimenez are fighting for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Asia-Pacific bantamweight belt.

“We just advised him to pay attention and keep himself focused on the fight,” said Villamor.

The 27-year-old Villanueva showed one of his most technical performances when he counter-punched his way into a lopsided unanimous decision victory over then unbeaten Marco Demecillo. He also totally outboxed former world champion Julio Cesar Miranda.

“This will be a good fight because both of them are regional champions. The opponent is also strong and tough,” said Villamor.

The 24-year-old Jimenez is the World Boxing Council (WBC) Continental Americas super flyweight titleholder. He has fought the likes of Vic Darchinyan, Robert Manzanarez, Raul Martinez and Armando Santos.

“His opponent doesn’t force things. He fights from a distance, but when he sees an opening, he also goes all out,” said Villamor.

Villanueva is 28-1 with 14 knockouts, while Jimenez is 22-9 with 15 knockouts.

The longest-reigning Filipino world champion Donnie Nietes (37-1-4, 21 KOs) defends his WBO and The Ring lineal light flyweight straps against former world champion Raul Garcia (38-3-1, 23 KOs) in the main event.

Also seeing action in the main card are Milan Melindo and Kevin Jake Cataraja.

Melindo (33-2, 12 KOs) faces Mexican Maximino Flores (19-2, 13 KOs) in a 10-rounder, while Cataraja (3-0, 2 KOs) slugs it out with Chatchai Or Benjamas (5-7, 4 KOs).